According to Ayurveda, the pancha maha bhutas, or five great elements, are the basic building blocks of nature. They include the physical world & the subtle. Everything around us in nature is made of the five elements & so are we. The five elements are associated with the tissues & functions of the body, the movement of the mind, the tendencies of each individual - internally & externally. The five great elements combine together to form the three doshas & help determine each individual’s constitution according to Ayurveda.
It’s a lot to unpack. So, I’ll keep it simple for today.
We’re going to talk about the personality traits of each element.
You may start reading through this & find that certain elements really resonate for you. Or maybe certain aspects of an element ring true, but not others. That is COMPLETELY normal. We are all made up of all five elements. The breakdown of the five elements within each of us is unique. Not only that, but I would argue certain times of your life may change which elements are dominating your personality at any given time. PLEASE, remember THERE IS NO JUDGEMENT. There simply is. It is neither good nor bad whether you possess certain qualities & not others. No one element is better than the other. They all work together in harmony to create the perfect balance within you!
So, let’s dive in & have some fun!
Ether (in Sanskrit: Akasha) begins our elemental journey because it is the most subtle of the five great elements. Ether individuals are, above all else, dreamy. Their head is in the clouds as they paint the world around them. They are expansive, flowing, & light. Ether individuals are open minded, always open to possibility & even a little unrealistic at times. They are energetic, light hearted, & enthusiastic. They tend to be more soft spoken & even passive at times. When we think of ether, we think about vast emptiness - this kind of space is very important to etheric individuals. Too little space & they feel suffocated - too much space & they can feel too ungrounded. They might even get a little spacey in general.
Air (in Sanskrit: Vayu) is next. Air & ether personality types tend to be quite similar, but are not to be confused. Air individuals are very enthusiastic & bubbly. Because of their mobile nature, air people tend to have fast speech & talk A LOT. They float from one topic to the other quickly & without limits. You might even describe an air personality as dramatic & story telling at times. They are wildly creative, deeply feeling, & constantly changing. Air personalities can even be impulsive - not going with societal norms & following their moment to moment callings. When out of balance, they tend towards anxiety & overwhelm.
Fire (in Sanskrit: Tejas) personalities ignite passion. They are deeply feeling with great clarity. Fire personalities are sharp in nature meaning they are focused, direct, goal oriented, & biiiiiiiig planners. If you need someone to run the show, fire people should be the first people on your list! These people light up the room when they walk in without even trying. They are brave & perceptive. They are courageous & warm. Not only are they self motivated, but they are great at motivating & inspiring others. Fire people can be abrasive & tend towards arrogance. Their speech is well organized, precise, & convincing - they don’t mince words. Fire dominated people require balance & tempering from time to time so they don’t burn up or burn out.
The water (in Sanskrit: Apas) element itself is flowing, soft, & heavy - so too is their personality! Looking for a shoulder to cry on? Water personalities are the person you can depend on & they may even cry with you. They are always there to lend a helping hand & are so dependable. If you make plans with a water personality, they will be there eager to spend some quality time with you! They are gentle, kind & compassionate. Watery people are devoted & tend towards long term relationships. When things start to fall apart, these people are the glue to bring everything back into harmony. However, this can lead to over attachment & an excessive need for control. They are the mothers of the elemental family here to calm, connect & nurture those around them.
Which brings us to our final element: earth (in Sanskrit: Prithvi). This is the most gross of all the elements. Earth personalities & water personalities are similar, but definitely distinctive. Because of earth's dense quality, earth people tend to be very stable & grounded - maybe even to a fault! They can be quite stubborn & unchangeable. This immobile quality makes earth people predictable, slower to react & not emotionally motivated in their decision making. They hold their emotions close, so they aren’t as outwardly expressive as the other elements. Earth people are calm & solid in their beliefs. Their speech tends to be slow. They are deeply sentimental & will hold a grudge when wronged - they don’t easily forget. They accept things as they are & are unlikely to stir the pot. Patience is the key word with sweet, earthy people.
Did you read a few descriptions that rang true for you? Can you see yourself a little more clearly now?
Join me next time as we discuss more simple Ayurveda & start to discuss the three doshas.